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Organizing Political PartiesRepresentation, Participation, and Power$
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Susan E. Scarrow, Paul D. Webb, and Thomas Poguntke

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198758631

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198758631.001.0001

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Investigating Party Organization

Investigating Party Organization

Structures, Resources, and Representative Strategies

(p.1) 1 Investigating Party Organization
Organizing Political Parties

Susan E. Scarrow

Paul D. Webb

Oxford University Press

Political parties in democratic countries use very different procedures to make their most important decisions, and they follow different approaches to mobilizing their supporters. What, if any, are the political consequences of these differences? This chapter argues that we should answer this question by systematically testing causal links in mid-level theories. To this end, the authors present a framework that divides parties’ organizations into three key dimensions: structures, resources, and representational strategies. They further divide these dimensions into sub-dimensions that have been identified as politically relevant by previous research, and show how they relate to specific hypotheses about the impact of parties’ organizational differences. These hypotheses are the basis of key research questions examined in the other chapters of this book. This chapter also introduces the new data source that will be used for all the analyses in this volume, the Political Party Database.

Keywords:   party organization, representation, political participation, linkage, resources, Political Party Database

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